Last week I was reading up on the "Cash for Clunkers" program which the Senate just approved, hoping to talk about it here. I gave up, however, because it didn't make any sense.
Then it dawned on me: It didn't have to! It's a government program. As long as it's paved with good intentions, it doesn't matter if the road goes nowhere.
Here's the deal: To get gas guzzlers off the roads, the government is offering vouchers worth up to $4,500 for your old car, to be used on a new car.
How does it work? (Breathe deeply.) You can trade in a car getting 18 miles per gallon for a car getting 22 mpg and get $3,500. But you'd get $4,500 if the new car is 10 mpg higher.
Now, if you own an old SUV, you could get $3,500 if your new wheels offer two more gallons per mile. If it's five more miles, then you get an extra grand.
You follow? Good, then find a gun and shoot me in the face.
Now, here's the fun part: None of this makes any sense if your old car is worth more than a voucher. Meaning this only works for crap worth under 3,500 bucks. And if that's the case, then the government pays and loses money on every junk heap.
Lastly, try to find someone with a piece of crud up on blocks in their front yard, who can suddenly afford a new car. You can count all of them on one foot, even if you're missing a toe.
So, in sum, welcome to the rebirth of big government. It'll drive you nuts just thinking about it.